Krystle Warren & The Faculty - Circles

Krystle Warren may have been around for a few years now but she only leapt to the fore of the consciousness of British music fans when she popped up on a recen edition of Later with Jools Holland. Sandwiched in-between the angular agit punk of Gang of Four and the urban grit of Dizzee she appeared like an oasis of calm, the depth of her voice shining through, accompanied only by her percussive acoustic guitar rhythms.

This album is more of the same and generates its own coffee-shop ambience which is both a strength and a weakness. It is certainly a pleasant experience but it temds to slump into the realm of background music rather too easily as there’s little here that threatens to jolt the listener into rapt attention. Her gorgeous treacle thick vocals are warm and soulful, like a modern day Nina Simone, but the overall package is all too cosy to demand devotion. ‘A View From The Rooftop’, with its ‘Eleanor Rigby’ strings belies her pop influences which stem from the Beatles, but this album predominantly hails from a jazzier background which combines the bossa nova of Bebel Gilberto with the sultry stylings of Madeleine Peyroux. Oddest of all is the pop perfection of ‘Yuletide Carol’ in which Krystle does a remarkable accurate impression of Stevie Wonder.

She’s clearly got a great set of tonsils on her but the material on this album is just too safe, too Jools Holland, to set the world on fire.



out of 10

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